August's top stories: UK to arm Kurds in Iraq, advanced hypersonic weapon fails

The UK announced it would be sending weapons to the Kurds in Iraq, the US Army aborted flight test of advanced hypersonic weapon, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Libya crisis, and China develops new anti-tank missile. Army-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from August.


hypersonic weapon

Flight anomaly aborts US Army's advanced hypersonic weapon testing

The US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command aborted the flight test of the advanced hypersonic weapon (AHW) shortly after its launch due to a flight anomaly.

Launched from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska, the weapon was supposed to fly to the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean at speeds of nearly 4,000 miles/hr, reported The Washington Free Beacon.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) said in a statement: "Due to an anomaly, the test was terminated near the launch pad shortly after lift-off to ensure public safety. There were no injuries to any personnel."

UK prepared to supply weapons to Kurdish forces in Iraq

Uk aid

The UK Government announced that it is prepared to supply weapons directly to the Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Iraq.

At an emergency Cobra meeting, UK Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to favourably consider any request for direct military assistance, including weapons, from the Kurdish authorities.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "It is vital that Iraqi and Kurdish forces are able to stop the advance of Isil terrorists across the country.

UN adopts resolution to end Libyan crisis

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Libya that calls for an immediate ceasefire and ban on individuals involved in the ongoing violence in the country.

In addition to imposing sanctions such as travel bans and financial penalties, the resolution 2174 (2014) also tightens the supply, sale or transfer of arms and related material, including related ammunition and spare parts, to Libya.

It calls for Libyan neighbours to inspect all cargo shipments to and from Libya, if they have reasonable grounds to believe the cargo contains banned items.

DARPA plans development of new armour technologies for ground vehicles

DAPRA

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched a new programme for the development of new ground-vehicle technologies, which would increase mobility, effectiveness and survivability of future armoured fighting vehicles.

The Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) programme seeks a 50% reduction in a vehicle's size, weight and the onboard crew needed for its operation, as well as an 100% increase in vehicle speed.

In addition, the programme aims to develop technologies that are designed to reduce signatures, such as visible, infrared, acoustic and electromagnetic, which enable adversaries to detect, engage and destroy vehicles.

Chinese Army to receive new anti-tank missile

China North Industries Group (NORINCO) developed a new anti-tank missile that can destroy targets at a distance of more than 4km.

The new HJ-12 missile is designed to enable China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) ground force to match the anti-tank combat capability of its Western and Russian counterparts, and also obtain a larger share in the foreign military equipment market, China Daily reported.

A military expert familiar with the missile's development said: "The HJ-12 is much more advanced than the anti-tank missiles currently used by the PLA ground force.

Ukraine announces defence hike plans amid fighting in east

The Ukrainian Government announced plans to raise the country's defence spending by an estimated 50% over the next three years.

Speaking during a military parade in Kiev marking the 23rd anniversary of Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko vowed to spend an additional UAH40bn ($3bn) to modernise the country's armed forces by 2017.

Poroshenko said: "It is clear that in the foreseeable future there will always, unfortunately, be the threat of war.

Australian Defence Forces orders SOV-Cdo vehicles from Supacat

Supacat was awarded a contract for the delivery of special operations vehicles - commando (SOV-Cdo) to the Australian Defence Forces (ADF).

Awarded by the Australian Defence Material Organisation (DMO), the $105m contract requires the company to supply a total of 89 SOV-Cdo vehicles under the JP2097 Ph 1B (REDFIN) programme.

The agreement follows the successful completion of the prototype development and evaluation phase, during which the company built and delivered the SOV-Cdo prototype.

UK threatens to stop arms exports to Israel over Gaza crisis

Palestinians

The UK Government threatened to suspend 12 military equipment export licences to Israel if the country resumes fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The licences cover components for military radar systems, combat aircraft and tanks, which were allegedly used by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza in response to Hamas rocket attacks.

Israel and Hamas militants are currently observing a ceasefire and talks are underway between the two sides in the Egyptian capital city of Cairo to end the hostilities.

ISAF temporarily suspends Afghan military support mission

Greene

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) temporarily suspended the Afghan National Army (ANA) support mission, in the wake of the shooting of a US general on 5 August.

ISAF commander Joseph Dunford suspended operations at various military facilities and ordered all foreign instructors and military consultants to remain in their camps until today, reported RIA Novosti.

US Major General Harold Greene was killed when a man dressed as an Afghan solider opened fire at Camp Qargha in Kabul. He served as the deputy commanding general of the Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan.

Russian MoD prepares to sue Rhienmetall over simulation deal cancellation

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed plans to sue German defence company Rheinmet.all over the termination of a contract to supply combat simulation equipment to the Russian Army.

Russian Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying: "Of course, this is all regulated with the conditions of the contract, and of course we will defend our interests.

"I'm not currently acquainted with the details in the contract, but the orders [to launch a court case] have already been given.